Jo: excessive overdraft charges should be outlawed

Jo has expressed disappointment at a Supreme Court ruling over bank charges and said a law should be passed to protect customers from unfair charges.

Thousands of bank customers who have applied to claim back penalty charges they incurred for going over their overdraft limits received bad news this week as the Supreme Court ruled that banks were not obliged to pay the money back. The ruling, which affects millions of people across the UK, stated that levying such penalty charges is not outlawed by consumer legislation.

The Office of Fair Trading is now investigating whether the charges can be challenged under different rules. One third of all profits banks make on their current accounts come from unauthorised overdraft charges.

Jo and the Liberal Democrats have called for the law to be changed to make unfair penalty charges illegal.

Commenting, Jo said:

“A huge number of people in East Dunbartonshire will be disappointed and angered by the Supreme Court’s ruling. At a time when bankers have been told they can take away multi-million pound bonuses, the message seems to be that the banking industry can get away with whatever it likes.

“Unauthorised overdraft charges are not a measure for covering the costs of going overdrawn, they are simply there to increase profits. Many people are finding it difficult to make ends meet and it is ridiculous that banks should be able to charge customers twenty or thirty pounds for going overdrawn by just a pound or two. If the current law says that this is not illegal then the Government should introduce a law to make it so.”

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